Ask Turbine: Monthly Interviews with Lord of the Rings OnlineLord of the Rings Online: Steefel Interview on Localization, Book 12Ask Turbine: Monthly Interviews with Lord of the Rings Online - RSS 2.0
Steefel was not yet prepared to blow the lid off and unveil everything they hope to accomplish in Book 12, but he did give us one hint.
"One of the things we're focusing on is customization for all of our players," he admitted, as he explained that increased customization and individuality would be a cornerstone. He also promises some tweaks and improvements to housing, and an increased focus on live events.
"I think you're going to see an acceleration of live events activity for players," he told us. "I personally want to see that ramp up a lot between now and Book 13."
On top of localization, Book 12 and regular maintenance, the team is also working on support for DirectX10. Book 11 added it to their test server and the first incarnation includes dynamic shadows, self-shadowing, improved particle effects and tweaks like the way water meets terrain.
"The next step is to start building content that specifically takes advantage of DX10 shaders," he told us. He explained that they will take it slowly to make sure they're not putting too many resources into something that only a fraction of their audience can enjoy. However, one place they may start is with the addition of displacement maps to specific materials in the world. He gave the example of how they could make stone walls or bricks on houses appear more realistic through this technology.
"The game is best of breed, and as the technology changes, we want to trade right with it and stay best of breed," he said flatly.
In the next few weeks, Turbine will take the wraps off more of their specific plans for Book 12. Stay tuned to WarCry for all the details.